Students at the University of Notre Dame have requested the addition of an official LGBT resource group 15 times, and finally, those students' prayers have been answered.
After five months of review by the university, President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C announced his Catholic school would permit an officially recognized LGBT student organization.
Notre Dame will begin the LGBT student group, create an advisory committee of students and faculty, and appoint a full-time staff member to advise students. According to a video posted earlier this year by students, Notre Dame was the last of the top 20 American universities to allow an official LGBT campus group.
Members of the Student Affairs staff wrote a plan to create a more inclusive campus titled, "Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame." The plan was crafted after evaluating discussions with students, a study of Catholic doctrine, and observing how LGBT students are embraced at other Catholic universities.
"I appreciate the careful and thoughtful work of this review that considered both the needs of our students and the teachings of the Catholic Church," Jenkins said in a statement Wednesday. "As articulated in the University’s 'Spirit of Inclusion' statement, Notre Dame’s goal remains to create and sustain a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, and I am confident that this multi-faceted, pastoral approach represents the next step in advancing our efforts toward this aspiration for our GLBTQ students."